Dan Potthast - Sweets and Meats (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Dan Potthast

Sweets and Meats (2002)

Asian Man

This man has written so many of my favorite songs, and my favorites by far in the ska realm. Dan Potthast is the singer/primary songwriter/guitar player of St. Louis' veteran psycho-ska band MU330, and his sophomore solo album is damn good. I own every album by his band, but had not heard much of his solo stuff until I got this disc. His first solo effort, "Eyeballs" is now on my "to get" list after just a few listens to "Sweets and Meats."

Dan's recognizable voice and straight-forward and often humorous lyrics will please any fan of MU330, but thankfully, the similarities beyond that are few. It really irks me when a solo album or side project sounds exactly like the musician's main band, so this album pleases me on that level too. The music is merely acoustic guitar and Dan's voice (often harmonizing with himself), while bass, drums and organ also enter into the mix with the help of two fellow musicians, who contribute great parts but play musically, keeping Dan in the spotlight.

The songs are very diverse, with the ballad "Sharks" about a man in a speedo at the marina and "Tornado Joe" with it's two-steppin' country rhythm along side the many different acoustic rock styles covered in this album. "Clockwise" shows off Dan's guitar skills, given a better chance to shine through in this stripped-down setting. "They're Talking," with it's catchy vocals and sweet and simple organ part, and "The Pope" about how there were "more cops than Catholics," preventing his mom from seeing John Paul II in person when he came to St. Louis, are two more of my favorites tracks.

Whether you're an MU330 fan or not, you will likely dig this album, with it's very sing-able melodies and many different orchestrations and styles crammed under the umbrella of "acoustic rock." Mr. Dan Potthast pleases once again.